“Evolution Sunday” & Darwin’s Birthday

FH Times Ad EVOLUTION 2016_3.55x3Many religious groups reject the theory of evolution, claiming that a literal and inerrant reading of the Bible requires them to deny both reason and science. But the United Methodist denomination officially endorses evolution in its Book of Discipline, stating that “science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology” and has resolved to work to oppose “faith based theories such as creationism or ‘intelligent design’” in public school science curriculums.

This Sunday, Feb 14th, marks the 11th annual celebration of Evolution Sunday, a date determined by its proximity to the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (February 12th, 1809). The Fountains will be joining with hundreds of other churches across the country and around the world in the observance at both its 9am and 11:15 services. Evolution Sunday’s aim is to set aside time to reflect on what it means to balance a religious world view with the knowledge gained from scientific investigations.

As a recent Barna Group study on young adults who stopped attending church revealed, one in four young adults surveyed consider Christianity to be “anti-science.” Evolution Sunday is effort to correct that impression, moving forward with an alternative to those who continue to attack science in the name of religion.

Why Evolution Sunday at The Fountains? Our stated purpose as a faith community is “to connect with God and serve others with thought-provoking openness and honesty, emphasizing Biblical integrity.” The Evolution vs. Creationism debate is a perfect example of how emphasizing Biblical integrity allows for rational thought to be embraced rather than denied.

Yet there are still those who demand that their religion trumps scientific knowledge. Pastor David Felten says, “Of course Christian faith can accommodate acceptance of Darwin’s theory. Denying evolution demands the rejection of both reason and experience — two important guidelines our founder, John Wesley, urged all Methodists to bring to bear in both their faith and life. Plus, trying to pit creationism against evolution reveals a very narrow reading of the Bible that shows disrespect to both the Bible and science.”

Every day, new scientific discoveries are creating amazing opportunities to learn and grow and be amazed. Evolution Sunday is a day to affirm the work of the Spirit in the process of evolution and embrace the diversity and complexity of life as a gift of God.

Come discover (with people of faith and skeptics alike!) how there need not be conflict between the theory of evolution and a vital Christianity.

For more information on “The Clergy Letter Project,” the sponsor of Evolution Sunday, CLICK HERE.